Why Your Best Ideas are Never Enough and what to do Instead (to Build a Strong Professional Career)

Sharing great ideas in meetings makes you sound smart, innovative and knowledgeable. But can ideas alone help you build a strong professional career?

A common mistake I see often is that lots of professionals claim they are experienced and smart; but have no concrete achievements to show for their ideas. What worse, some have no portfolio at all.

“But what’s wrong with having great ideas?”  

They give a false sense of success and are limited. Therefore, they won’t earn you the edge, the value and the respect you deserve in the marketplace. Why not?

The marketplace rewards actions more than ideas.

As Seth Godin explained, “I don’t think there’s a shortage of remarkable ideas. I think your business has plenty of great opportunities to do great things. Nope, what’s missing isn’t the ideas. It’s the will to execute them.”

See, most professionals don’t know how to execute or are afraid to accept responsibility. As Michael Brit said, “Any time you start something new like [an innovation initiative], that cuts across many areas, there’s a potential for people feeling like you’re in their backyard.”

That’s why those that can execute have an edge in the job market. That is, they get the right things done and build a strong professional career worth talking about. That leads us to a key question.

Want to build a strong professional career?

Do you have the backbone to face challenges, navigate bureaucracy and deal with haters? Can you handle criticism, rejections and failure? That’s what it takes to get ahead and build a strong professional career.

Being able to execute, more than having ideas, is the fuel that will propel your career engine forward, separating you from the self-declared gurus of the job market. 

Now I know you are thinking, “but what does execute mean?”

Smart question! It means to take actions, solve problems and create products that you can add to your portfolio. Here are 3 examples:  

  • Create products (presentations, guidelines, plans, strategy doc, gap analysis) without asking for permission
  • Research and collect information or data on important issues, without being asked, that your boss did not even know he needed
  • Solve problems (present solutions, tip sheets, how-to-steps, systematic interventions)

To circle back. What products will you add to your portfolio in the next 15 days?   

Have questions or doubts on how to execute? Shoot the CBL Team an email, and we will help you build a system to create products that will earn you more respect in the marketplace.

Please share this post in your network. 

PS: A few posts that you might have missed:

  1. 10 Continuous Improvement Books for Professionals Who Want to be Remarkable
  2. The Superpower Most Good Employees Forget they Have
  3. What Undervalued Employees Can Learn from this Champion
  4. A Daily Mistake That Devalues Even Smart Professionals
The coach
Coach Teddy Edouard is a lifelong learner, public speaker, writer, blogger and vlogger. He is the founder of Coaching for Better Learning, where he helps people and institutions build systems that lead to lasting improvement, growth, and success. He also teaches professionals how to protect their careers and use artificial intelligence (AI) as a career improvement ally.

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